I built a bench out of some cheap Whitewood from my local bigbox store as a practice build and it turned out good enough to keep. I am going to put it in the yard next to the fire pit so it's going to be in the Texas elements year round. Any recommendations on what to use to stain/seal it and keep it looking good? I've no idea what Whitewood actually is but it seems pretty soft. Anybody have any experience with it?

  • "Whitewood" is pretty much any cheap softwood in some places, and other places it is "poplar" or American Whitewood. If it has a greenish tinge, that is probably what it is.
    – user5572
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 14:35
  • Have you searched previous Q&A for outdoor finishing tips? There is a fair amount there on the subject.
    – user5572
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


The normal 'whitewood' in width of 8, 12" that is pre-finished has a mdf or particleboard core. This type of wood in not suitable for outdoor usage. After several rains, the board will begin to warp or decompose. If you do still want to use it outdoors, you would have to use a marine varnish that is capable of waterproofing the board. Any paint you use must be capable of waterproofing your bench. The end of the board where it was cut, will be exposed to the elements and would require more effort to seal/protect the exposed wood.

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